In contrast, the overall immature phenotype of APC containing higher frequencies of subpopulations with regulatory or suppressive properties may render younger mice largely incapable of generating encephalitogenic T cells and may further protect them by promoting development of Th2 cells and Treg cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the animal model of MS, EAE, cannot be induced with a standard protocol in otherwise susceptible mice that are below a certain age. Disease resistance in younger mice was associated with a higher frequency of plasmacytoid DCs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, two APC subtypes with immunosuppressive
properties [14, 17]. Furthermore, APCs from younger mice displayed a functionally immature phenotype characterized by a decreased expression of MHC II and co-stimulatory CD40, a reduced production of proinflammatory TNF, IL-6, IL-23, and IL-12 and an enhanced release of anti-inflammatory IL-10. AZD3965 These APCs were incapable of generating encephalitogenic T cells and promoted development of Treg-cell populations instead. As adoptive transfer of adult APC restored inducibility of EAE in young mice, we propose that during development the innate immune cell compartment may gradually shift from regulatory/suppressive properties to proinflammatory
function, which may represent one immunological factor that facilitates susceptibility to CNS autoimmune disease. Our results hence favor an age-related decline of regulatory APC phenotypes and myeloid derived suppressor cells and an increase in the expression of constitutive and inducible MHC II and co-stimulatory molecules on myeloid APCs and B cells selleck compound as explanation why young mice are protected from T-cell-mediated CNS autoimmune disease. It is clear that overall MHC II expression is required for initiation of EAE, as mice genetically engineered to lack MHC II molecules
are resistant to development of CNS autoimmune disease . Further, it has been demonstrated that the density of MHC II-Ag complexes and thereby Silibinin the strength of TCR signaling can determine the fate of the corresponding T cell . While a strong interaction between APCs and T cells was required to generate proinflammatory T cells, a weaker molecular contact triggered development of an anti-inflammatory T-cell response . Besides sufficient stimulation via MHC II, CD40-CD40-L ligation is critical to further stabilize the APC-T-cell interaction after Ag recognition . In vivo disruption of CD40-CD40-L interaction via a monoclonal anti-CD40L Ab completely prevented the development of EAE , suggesting that cross-ligation via CD40 is a requirement for effector T-cell development. In context with our new findings, these data further consolidate the conclusion that younger mice are protected from CNS auto-immune disease as lower expression levels of MHC II and CD40 on APCs may not suffice to generate encephalitogenic Th1 and Th17 effector T cells.